Our History

The Sociology Department was established in February of 1920 and was headed by Reverend Mark Cain, SJ. Originally, the department had three full time faculty specializing in both social and political sciences.

By 1938, there were 6 full-time faculty and 130 students (56 sociology majors) graduating from Marquette with social science degrees. Between 1966 and 1984, our department sustained significant growth when three new majors (anthropology, social work and criminology and law studies) joined the department.  The department was officially renamed the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences in 1985.  In 2002, the social work program was closed and transformed into the Social Welfare and Justice major.  In 2019, the Criminology and Law Studies major added a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Data Analytics. Today, the department is home to seventeen full-time faculty and over 450 students majoring and/or minoring in Anthropology, Criminology and Law Studies, Social Welfare and Justice, and/or Sociology.

Our Faculty

Currently, the department houses seventeen full-time and twenty-five part-time faculty who conduct research and teach classes in the department's four majors. There are hundreds of students who major in the Social and Cultural Sciences department making it one of the largest in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The department has a long tradition of qualitative and quantitative multidisciplinary research on issues of race, gender, family, punishment, and law. Faculty members have been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, U.S. State Department, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Wisconsin Department of Corrections. They have also received various Marquette University internal grants to conduct important social science research.

Our faculty were recognized by several prestigious University awards including Research Excellence, Teaching Excellence, Way Klingler Young Scholar, and Excellence in Faculty Advising Awards.

Books by our faculty have been published by top university presses such as Oxford and Columbia Universities, NYU, University of Chicago, and by academic presses including Sage, Russell Sage Foundation Press, Rowman Littlefield, Waveland Press, and Taylor and Francis Group.

Research Opportunities

True to the scholar-teacher model, our department offers exciting research opportunities for undergraduate students. Selected undergraduate research has been presented in the annual Research Salon. We have been proud to host over fifteen McNair Scholars in the last ten years. Our department also hosted several doctoral students through the Mitchem Dissertation Fellowship Program.

McGee Lecture Series

We are also proud to organize and host an annual McGee Lecture Series honoring the memory of Dr. Joseph McGee, who taught sociology at Marquette for 25 years (1945-1970). 

Additional Information

Please contact us if you have any questions.